These are the books I've been using over the years. For a beginner I recommend Skywatching by David Levy. He gives you seperate maps of all 88 constillations with descriptions of the brighter items. He shows you what you can see with the naked eye, binoculars, small and large telescopes. Great explanations about telescopes, planets and all the different types of items you'll be looking at. Cost about $30.00. Next is the Cambridge Star Atlas. This does not have descriptions but it has way more objects on the maps. On the opposite page from each map there are lists of the items on the charts with statistics on size, magnitude etc. The lists of double stars are great in this book. Very helpfull book. Cost about $20.00. There's a very handy small parer back book called the Cambridge Guide to Stars and Planets by Patric Moore and Wil Tirion. I never leave home without it. This is not a primary book, but has lots of charts and descriptions. Many items in this book are not in the others I just mentioned. It's very handy to have around for quick reference. Cost about $15.00. Then you get to the more expecsive stuff. I use the Star Atlas 2000 most of the time now. It's a huge book of just charts with stars down to 8 1/2 magnitude. The others I mentioned are down to 6 1/2 magnitude. The big charts are very easy to follow to thousands of items. Cost between $65 and $125 depending on if you want it in color, laminated, white or dark background in what cobination. Many people are using the Unimetria, there are 2 volumes to buy. Cost About $35.00 each. I'm don't have them, but I've seen them and they are great. Many descriptions and pictures on the items. Of course if you still need to see more items than that, the Millennium Star Atlas, 3 volumes, 250 charts in each volume is the biggest. I've never see it. cost $260.00. Well, that's what I know about star charts. Good Luck. Get that Skywatching by David Levy if its your first Skychart. You'll like it.